You might have remembered that there is at least one other author writing historical fantasy set during the Thirty Years War, and I reviewed his first book, The Sons of Brabant, several months ago. I’ve finally had a chance to read the second book in the Devil’s Bible series-Hidden Elements– and thought I’d get a review up before the third book comes out in July.
The Sons of Brabant ended with the three main characters, Willen, Leopold, and Isabella, in the victorious aftermath of a battle, though still exiled from their homeland. But all is not well in 1646 Europe, besides the obvious- the last few years of the Thirty Years War. The Rapture, a sinister cabal trying to bring about the end of the world, is gaining strength, and the three siblings, along with their Irish allies might be the only ones who can stop it.
With the help of four unlikely allies, the Irishmen, along with Isabella, set off on four quests, in an attempt to stop The Rapture, while Willem and Leo carry on leading their mercenary band.
While I enjoyed Book One in this series, a lot of it was build-up, really setting the stage for the almost non-stop action in this sequel. Let’s just say, I enjoyed myself tremendously. Bolan has written a fantastic action-adventure tale, and seamlessly interweaves the various storylines.
The four quests-into the depths of an abandoned Bohemian mine, to the top of an alpine peak, to the bottom of a leviathan-ridden mountain lake, and into an active volcano- were all nail-bitingly exciting. On top of that, there is a fantastic battle at the gates of Augsburg, which had me at the edge of my seat throughout.
One of my few quibbles with Book One was Isabella’s storyline: I felt she didn’t have enough to do. Well, that’s been remedied, and in spades. I absolutely loved Isabella’s journey, complete with romance and adversity aplenty.
As in the last book, the story builds up to an appearance by some familiar historical figures, which is always fun. But even though The Sons of Brabant succeeded in their quests, the trouble is far from over. A number of important characters remain in jeopardy, and the really bad guys still look unbeatable. Fortunately, if you start reading now, you won’t have long to wait for the final book in this engaging tale, The Stone Bridge comes out July 1 and is available for preorder on Amazon right now.by